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Find Serenity - Seek Shangri-la, Yunnan

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       涓浗鍩庡競鐨勬櫙璞″ぇ澶氭嫢鎸よ屽繖纰岋紝浜轰滑杩囩潃蹇妭濂忕殑鐢熸椿銆備絾鏄鏋滀綘鎯冲瑙呬竴浠芥伂闈欎笌骞冲拰锛岀粷涓嶉渶瑕佸嚭鍥介棬杩滆锛屽湪浜戝崡鐪佽タ鍖楅儴锛岄潚钘忛珮鍘熸í鏂北鑴夎吂鍦3200绫虫捣鎷旂殑鍦版柟灏辨湁涓澶勭粷涓栧湥澧——棣欐牸閲屾媺銆


      棣欐牸閲屾媺绗竴娆′负涓栦汉鎵鐭ユ槸婧愪簬1933骞磋嫳鍥戒綔瀹惰┕濮嗘柉• 甯屽皵椤跨殑钁楀悕灏忚銆奓ost Horizen锛堟秷澶辩殑鍦板钩绾匡級銆嬶紝涔︿腑灏嗛鏍奸噷鎷夋弿缁樻垚涓澶勫拰璋愮绉樼殑浜洪棿澶╁爞锛屼护鏃犳暟浜轰负涔嬬寰銆傚悗鏉ラ鏍奸噷鎷夎繕琚媿鎴愬悓鍚嶇數褰卞苟鑽h幏澶氶」濂ユ柉鍗″锛屾洿浣垮叾涓轰笘浜虹啛鐭ャ傚湪杩欑墖绁炵鐨勫湡鍦颁笂锛屾湁鐫甯稿勾椋樺姩鐨勫僵铏硅壊鏃楀瓙锛屼互鍙婄嫭鐗圭殑钘忔棌姘戝眳鍜屾湇楗般傝櫧鐒堕鏍奸噷鎷夊彜闀囨湁涓鍗婃浘鍦2014骞寸殑澶х伀涓姣侊紝濡備粖姝e湪閫愭閲嶅缓锛屼綘浠嶇劧鍙互鐪嬪埌褰撳湴鐢熸椿鐨勯璨岋紝鎰熷彈鍒伴鏍奸噷鎷夊甫鏉ョ殑瀹夊畞绁ュ拰銆

      鏉ュ埌棣欐牸閲屾媺锛屽氨蹇呴』鍘荤湅鐪嬬礌鏈“灏忓竷杈炬媺瀹”涔嬬О鐨勬澗璧炴灄瀵恒傚叏瀵轰豢閫犳媺钀ㄥ竷杈炬媺瀹竷灞锛屼緷灞卞娍鑰屽缓锛岄泟浼熷.瑙傘傝繖閲岃繕琚涓烘槸钘忔棌“澶╄懍”涔犱織鐨勫彂婧愬湴锛屽綋鍦颁汉灏嗛濆幓鐨勬鑰呭案韬疆浜庡北椤讹紝璇峰北楣版垨閲庡吔椋炵灏嗗案韬悆鎺夛紝瀵撴剰姝昏呯殑鐏甸瓊琚甫鍏ュぉ鍫傘傞鏍奸噷鎷夎繖涓绉樼殑鎵鍦紝涓瀹氭槸浣犱竴鐢熷繀鍘讳箣鍦般
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Chinese cities are renowned for their hustle and bustle and busy lifestyle, so to find true peace and quiet in the vast and buzzing Middle Kingdom can seem impossible. But if rich in culture and serene vibes are what you’re after, then you need not look any further than Shangri-la (棣欐牸閲屾媺, Xi膩ngg茅l菒l膩) in China’s western Yunnan Province. Formerly known as Zhongdian, Shangri-la is a cultural blend of Tibetan and Han Chinese culture located 3200m above sea level.
 
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Shangri-la actually first appears in fictional literature, namely John Hilton’s Lost Horizon in 1933. This mythical place refers to a mystical, harmonious valley and is synonymous with any “earthly paradise”. In the novel, people who reside in Shangri-la are almost immortal, living longer than the average lifespan and slowly aging in appearance. Although Zhongdian was renamed in 2001 to its more popularly known name, Shangri-la, it is no puzzle as to why. 
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Draped almost everywhere are colourful Tibetan prayer flags, which not only bring cheerful bursts of colours to your visit and have the potential to be great subject points for any photography fanatics out there. But they also serve as a reminder of the difference in culture in this corner of China. Inscribed with Tibetan mantras, it is thought that these flags blow in the wind, bringing good spirits and peace to the countryside. It is no wonder that the natural beauty of Yunnan and Shangri-la specifically, is so outstanding. The rainbow colours of prayer flags are also mirrored in the traditional dress of local people who flit around the Old Town. In 2014, half of the Old Town was engulfed and destroyed by fire. Today, half remains open to the public and whilst the damaged areas still undergo reconstruction, most of the destruction has been repaired but modernised. However, the old cobbled streets and windy alleyways still give you plenty of opportunity to soak up the quiet ancient feel and chance to escape tourist crowds.
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One of the highlights of your visit to Shangri-la is undoubtedly Songzanlin Monastery (鏉捐禐鏋楀), the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan. With construction completed in 1681, Songzanlin appears as a gem at a distance with golden roofs that catch the light from afar. Spanning several levels across a hilltop 10,827 feet above ground level, the monastery is hard to miss. Consisting of two lamaseries (monasteries for lama monks) and living quarters for monks, Songzanlin can be considered as a being small town in itself.
 
The gilded copper roofs are strongly a Tibetan feature and top the many magnificent main halls and cloisters. Home to some real beautiful treasures, wandering around the monastery in peace and quiet is made more exquisite with the amount of gold gilded wares which give a sense of extraordinary spirituality amongst the scriptures that are also kept here. Remember to be respectful when visiting the monastery. Photos are not permitted inside the prayer areas and in some cases, women are not permitted in specific areas that monks dine or inhabit.
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Below the Monastery there are stunning and vast green fields which allow for breathtaking views at the highest points of the monastery as well as great talking points for your visit. It is also thought that this monastery is home to the practice of Tibetan Sky Burials. Traditionally, when Tibetans or Mongols passed away, their remains were placed on a mountain top or hill to decompose as it is exposed to the elements or eaten by nearby inhabiting animals and birds. It is thought that this kind of excarnation will deliver the human body to heaven.
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If things feel a bit too heavy and deep at this point, do be reminded that your evenings are taken care of in terms of light hearted local entertainment. Be sure to head down to the main town square at around 8pm to witness locals gathering to dance together. 
 
Overlooking the entire affair is another temple in Guishan Park (榫熷北鍏洯). Home to Yunnan’s biggest golden prayer wheel and the second biggest in the world, it stands solidly at the head of the hill, spinning serenely as the locals dance. As stunning as it is to simply be a bystander watching the action, the friendly and talented locals welcome all to dance with them. Rather than taking photos or videos to look back on later, it is best to simply get involved and dance too. Typically taking place between 7-9pm daily, dance the dusk away and watch day become night. The Old Town Square dancing will leave you with a lasting impression of Shangri-la and it would be one of positive energy and revitalised outlook from spiritual vibes. You would do well to remember that China is as diverse as it is vast and that peace can be found in the far reaching corners of the land just when you need it.
 
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